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Aru Valley Pahalgam is the base for many adventure activities like trekking in summers and skiing in winters.
Hotel and Guesthouse Options in the Valley
After reaching Aru Valley Pahalgam, the first thing you will do is search for a place to stay.
Listed below are the Aru Valley Hotels and Guesthouse options available in your trip –
1. Friends Guest House
The cab will drop you right in the center of Aru and on the corner, you will see friend’s tea stall, the next to this is Friends Guest House.
Just as the name suggests make friends from all over the world.
You will find a room between Rs.800 – Rs.1200 per night (can be subject to change depending upon season).
2. Fimi Hotel
The Hotel Fimi looks good from all the hotels in Aru but it was under construction when I went to Aru Valley, hopefully, it will open soon. You can always check on this.
3. Hotel Milky Way
Milky way is next to hotel Fimi.
There is a total combination of 4-5 hotels and guesthouses in the Valley.
4. Rohella Guest House
A walk in the village and you’ll be going to find this guest house on the opposite line of Friends Guest House in the end.
5. Aru Heights Guest House
I can write a complete article on Aru Heights because I stayed here during my visit to Aru Valley.
Aru height is located on the route to Lidderwat. A room will cost you around Rs.500 – Rs.1000. A family manages this guesthouse who plays the role of everyone, from cleaning to cooking they do everything by themselves.
These are some of the options you can look for a stay in Aru Valley.
Hotel Alpine and Restaurant
A hotel by J&K tourism department corporation.
Have you thought of living in a home surrounded by mountains and greenery all around and a big garden in front of your house?
Your wish has just come true, Hotel alpine is located right at the point of attraction.
A room at Hotel alpine for a night will cost Rs.1315. Yes, it’s a luxury hotel, i.e. decision depends upon person to person and their needs.
What to choose….
Basic stay vs luxury stay.
Q. Why Aru Valley Is Majorly known to foreign tourists?
A. The answer I got from my personal experience is summarized in points below –
A Majority of foreign tourists are from Israel.
Israel people love few parts of India as you have also witnessed in Kasol, Dharamkot, McLeod Ganj and many more parts of Himalayas.
Important factors are – Cheap accommodation like you will get a room in Aru in-between Rs.300 – Rs500, Low-cost good food, adventure activities like trekking (As I told Aru is base for many treks), peaceful surroundings in the foothills of the mountain and away from any city bustle.
i.e. these are some of the important reasons that make Aru Valley a foreign tourist favorite spot in Pahalgam Kashmir.
Weather in the Himalayas
Weather in the Himalayas is highly unpredictable, I had visited at the starting of July, call it summers and pre-monsoon season.
The days are very sunny like you will literally sweat if you keep walking for a few minutes.
Evening brings rain and cold wind.
The nights are cold and windy.
On being asked about the winters here, locals replied –
In winters the snow covers all our houses till the roof.
People shift to lower regions or wipe out snow daily.
i.e. you cannot predict the weather by looking at the sky, it’s advised to carry all season clothes. I know this sounds weird but this is how it goes.
For e.x- half t-shirts and shorts, a raincoat and umbrella, jacket and warm caps.
Best season to visit
Best season is undoubtedly the starting of summers that is from April till pre-monsoon that is July and then post monsoon that is Sept to Nov.
*Monsoon season brings landslide and roadblocks i.e. It’s not an ideal time to go.
I hope many of you have seen the video footage in the news about the landslides on Jammu – Srinagar highway. It’s highly not recommended to go in monsoon season.
Getting Around Aru Valley
Exploring Aru Valley needs no four vehicles, all it needs is two feet to see around in Aru.
It’s a very small place and it generally going to take max to max 2hr – 3hr in exploring the whole area unless and until you indulge in any fun/adventure activities.
Adventure Activities in the Valley
A place is bookmarked by people when they do something exciting and the visual image in mind comes alive like –
Hey, you remembered we did river rafting at that place?
You got nearly drawn in the water while surfing, this might not make you sleep till now?
These are the sweet memories we live for and ultimately bring a smile when the bookmarked memory is recalled.
Aru Valley Pahalgam is full of adventures like –
You can trek to some of the most beautiful lakes Tarsar Marsar, Katarnag lake and many more.
(I know that Aru Travel Guide is going deep, but I am sharing my experience and that will going to help).
If you get any injuries during adventuring or feeling low then there’s a medical store called Riaz medical store.
Local people say that he provides very good medicine and I say too.
After the trek, my whole body was paining and I went to Riaz medical store to get pain relief.
After 3-4hr I felt really good like I can go again for another trek right now.
Shopping in Aru Valley
Aru Valley in Pahalgam has 3-4 traditional clothing shops and Pashmina Kashmiri shawls are among the best buy when on Kashmir trip.
Things to do in Aru Valley Pahalgam with Friends and Family
Outing in Aru Valley is itself a magnificent decision and that too with family. Let’s see what all you can do with your family in Aru –
1. Trekking to Lidderwat/Tarsar Lake
If you and your friends & family are fond of treks then Trek to Lidderwat might fascinate you. Hence, if you want to experience crystal clear white sheet of the lake then trek further to Tarsar lake (Might not see ice lake in post summers).
Trek to Lidderwat will be of 1 day on foot, you can camp there and come back the next day.
You can also opt for horses; it will take 1 day and you can come back the same day on horses.
You have to hire a guide in both cases.
If you want to trek further till Tarsar lake, then you have to take some time off because it takes 2 nights and 3 days to back on your base that is Aru Valley.
2. Enjoy a Pony Ride
Hip-Hop on a pony as the guide will take you across beautiful green parts of the valley and enjoy the Kashmir landscape.
3. Spend time in J&K Tourism park
Hotel Alpine has a big park where you can chill with your family, click pictures and can play cricket too.
It’s a perfect outing park in the valley where you don’t feel like going home.
4. Morning walk in the quiet village of Aru
Don’t make any assumptions about the morning walk as it is a normal village walk where-
Horses are tied in ropes,
People leaving with goats.
Connectivity in Aru
I am glad that there’s no connectivity, to be honest in Aru Valley but faced difficulties in reaching out to my home.
i.e. Every time I ask locals to give their phones for a few minute’s calls.
Only BSNL works and No Airtel, Voda or any other network provider is available but JIO is coming soon in Aru as one of the locals told.
*Note – Remember that only postpaid sim, I am not going in detail as I have already talked in detail here – Srinagar Travel in a day.
Budget Required for Aru Valley
It’s hard to tell the budget required because everybody has different preferences.
But as a person who would prefer staying in a luxury hotel as compared to the other budgeted hotels the difference is bound to arise.
Let’s try to calculate the budget for 2 days for a single person in Aru –
Reaching Aru Valley from Delhi by road and return would be around Rs. 1700-1800 (one way)
Stay and food – Rs 2300 – Rs 2400
Any adventure activity, can’t predict here because it varies in so many dimensions.
For e.x: – a pony ride to Green top = Rs. 350 and a trek to Tarsar around = Rs 5000 – 6000.
On an average = Rs. 6000 – Rs 7000 (Including Adventure activity like pony ride around the valley)
And Rs. 10,000 -Rs.11,000 (Including Adventure activity like longer treks).
If you would like to ask me the budget in which I did is –
Around Rs. 3000 excluding the onward and return journey because I had visited other places also.
This takes us to the end of the Aru Valley Pahalgam guide. The conclusion arises here is that Aru is gaining popularity among youngsters and families, all age groups to be honest because of the things involved to keep people intact at least for a few days.
But don’t make this place like other gems which have turned into polluted areas like the throwing of garbages, not traveling responsibly and many more.
i.e try to keep this place the same as nature has offered to us.
*Keeping the current situation of Kashmir in mind, try to go after the Amarnath Yatra maybe towards the end of August or September. Until then save this guide in your mobile phones or pin for future references.
I hope that I have covered every necessary aspect that one is required to know.
If still, something is missing, comment down below and I will let you know.
I will be making few other posts on Aru Valley covering different aspects.
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This Article completely focuses on Aru Valley, from places of stay to things to do in Aru. Every Information that is important and one needs to know is present in this article. Give it a read and any info needed then let me know in the comments.